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date: 22 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the voice as palimpsest through the experience of Stylianos Floikos, one of the few remaining cantors (or psaltes) at the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in Istanbul, Turkey. Stylianos, like other psaltes, while interpreting melodies either from neumatic scores or from memory, creates inaudible yet profoundly affective resonance with his own previous interpretations and those of other psaltes. Through this process, both he and those listening experience the act of realizing a melody as a dialogue with past voices rendered present. This multilayered, polyphonic experience of voice forms the context through which both personal and cultural identity are apprehended and renegotiated.

Keywords: palimpsest, cantor, Byzantine chant, neumes, Istanbul, music notation, memory, voice, community, sacred music

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